Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe by Katherine Garbera ** Blog Tour Guest Post, Review and Giveaway **

Welcome to Books. Life and Everything and Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe. Katherine Garbera has written a guest post for us, filling us in on why she chose to set the cafe in New York. There's also a Giveaway for Five lucky people to win a copy of Katherine's previous book, Summer in Manhattan.(Details on how to enter are at the end of the post).

There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…

Santa is coming to New York!

Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!
Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.
If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

 Now it's the time to welcome Katherine Garbera for her post on setting the story in New York. Over to you, Katherine!

New York at Christmas

I chose New York as a setting because my family is originally from that area of the country.  I’m third generation Italian American and my great-grandparents lived in Brooklyn.  A lot of my family traditions come from things that were started by them when they lived up there.  Also I love that Manhattan is a huge city but there are small intimate neighborhoods that make it more like a small town in a way.  Just with the big city amenities.  When I was growing up my mom would regal my sisters and I with tales of getting a new dress and shoes (it’s all about the shoes, isn’t it?!) and then go into Manhattan to see The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

I was lucky enough to see them when they came on tour to Chicago while I was living there. The show is of course focused on the legendary dancers but it also has these perfect scenes of Christmas in the city and that fired up my imagination.

She’d tell us about walking up Fifth Avenue to see all of the storefront windows and then about the special meal they’d have with her large extended family and of course there would be snow. Which I never had growing up in Florida. I’ve always loved the energy that I get when I’m in Manhattan. And the feeling is magnified during the Christmas season.

When I started writing Christmas At The Candied Apple I knew the things that I wanted to include in the story based on my mom’s tales from her childhood and then I knew the events I wanted to included based on the things I love.  So going to the NYC Ballet to see The Nutcracker had to be in there and since I wanted to be a ballerina until I realized that I didn’t have the right body type to be one, I’ve always loved that ballet.

I knew that I wanted to include the shop windows which are really fabulous and just make Christmas in NYC so special. Every year in my own home I try to have a theme for Christmas and focus on that theme throughout my house so seeing the holiday window displays at the different stores in Manhattan is always a good place for me to start.

I love Central Park its always the first place I head there. I love the vastness of it in the middle of such a large bustling city. So when I started working on the book I knew that I wanted my heroine to live near Central Park, which meant she’d have to have a very successful career so she could afford to live there. ☺

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Miracle on 34th Street which is sort of where I got the idea for Sofia to not believe in Santa. That jumping off point gave me the rest of my plot.

Do you have a favorite holiday movie?

Well it's got to be White Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life for me! Actually I'm a sucker for anything with Christmas lights and elves!

What about you Dear Reader? Do leave a comment below.

                                                         My Thoughts

This is an ideal read for the Christmas Season. It oozes charm and sparkles with the joy of it. In the Candied Apple Cafe, Katherine has created just what I imagine New York must be like at this time of year: beautiful shop windows, streets full of excited shoppers and the whole place fizzing with life. Having read Katherine's guest post, I can see why her descriptions in the book ring so true. They're based on her families' memories. Everyone can relate to their family Christmas traditions. They can make or break the holiday!

    The relationship which develops between Iona and Mads' daughter, Sofia is very touching and believable. It adds another layer to the story as Sofia struggles to get over the death of her mother, the previous year. Iona may be a cool business woman on the outside but you soon realise that she has a softer centre. She has her own demons to work through as her relationship with her father was complicated and she has to come to terms with her brother's new relationship. And then there's Mads who is fighting his anger and anguish at his wife's death but trying to forge new Christmas traditions with his little girl. All interesting characters in their own right.

In short: a warm, cosy read for a warm, cosy time of the year.

                                                         About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.

You can follow Katherine here: Facebook   |  Instagram |  Website 
                                                    |  Twitter

Book links: Amazon UK   |  Amazon US  

Thanks to Katherine Garbera, HarperImpulse and Rachel of  Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.


5 lucky winners will win a copy of Summer in Manhattan, Katherine Garbera’s previous book for Harper Impulse. To enter, follow the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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